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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.

MATEOS, accused-appellant.
[G.R. No. 125025. January 23, 2002]
 This case involves the unlawful sale of 250.70 grams of Methamphetamine
Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug, in violation of Section 15, Article III of
Republic Act No. 6425, as amended, otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs
Act of 1972.
 That on or about the 8th day of December 1994, in the Municipality of Paranaque,
Metro Manila, Philippines, a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the above-named accused (Baltazar Bongalon), not being lawfully authorized by
law, and by means of motor vehicle, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously sell, deliver and give away to another, one (1) heat-sealed
transparent plastic bag/sachet containing brown crystalline substance weighing
250.70 grams, which was found positive to the test for Methamphetamine
Hydrochloride (shabu), a regulated drug, in violation of the above-cited law.
 When arraigned, the accused pled not guilty. Trial ensued.
 The prosecution evidence reveals that in the morning of December 7, 1994, a
confidential informant reported to the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the
Narcotics Command (NARCOM) in Camp Ricardo Papa, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro
Manila, that a certain Baldo (the accused) was engaged in selling shabu, a
regulated drug.
 For its part, the defense presented the accused himself, Baltazar Bongalon. He
tried to refute the claim of the prosecution witnesses that he was alone when the
NARCOM agents arrested him for the alleged unlawful sale of shabu. Allegedly,
the buy-bust operation was bogus and the NARCOM agents framed him for
 That while the accused was cruising along Russia Street, he slowed down a bit
because he had to turn right to United Nations Street. Suddenly, about eight (8)
men in civilian clothes bearing armalite automatic rifles and .45 caliber firearms
intercepted him. (He learned later that the armed men were NARCOM agents led
by PO3 Castaeto). The firearms were pointed at the car he was driving. He rolled
down the cars window and asked what his violation was and if they had a warrant
of arrest against him. They ignored him and instead, ordered them to get out of
the car. He persisted in verifying what his violation was but did not get any reply
from them. Thereafter, they were ordered to board the car again.
 The accused and his alleged companions were taken to Camp Papa for
investigation. When told that he was carrying shabu in his car, he asked if he
could see the substance. Allegedly, the NARCOM agents refused. After the
investigation, P/Sr. Insp. Mabanag asked him if they could go to their house to
check if he stashed any shabu in his house. He agreed.
 Fifteen (15) minutes later, the police let the accused and his son enter their
house as the NARCOM agents continued searching his house. His wife and his
son were seated beside him in the living room. His wife asked for a search
warrant which elicited a cold reply from the NARCOM agents that it was not
necessary (hindi na uso yon). The search lasted for two (2) hours and yielded
negative results.
 After the trial, the trial court found the accused guilty as charged. He was
sentenced to suffer the death penalty and ordered to pay a fine of
 In the meantime, the accused filed a MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL with this Court.
Pursuant to our directive, the Office of the Solicitor General filed its Comment.
After considering their pleadings, we denied the motion for new trial for lack of
merit. The accuseds motion for reconsideration was also denied. Finally, the
appellant and the Solicitor General filed their respective briefs.
ISSUE: W/N the accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest.
HELD: Yes, the accused is estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest.
The appeal hangs mainly on the alleged lack of credibility of the prosecution
witnesses and the frame-up-for-extortion theory.
It is a settled rule that in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act,
credence is given to prosecution witnesses who are police officers for they are
presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there is evidence
to the contrary.
The appellant also cannot assail the validity of his arrest on account of the absence
of a warrant. He was caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu. There was, therefore, no
need for a warrant to effect his arrest pursuant to Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised
Rules on Criminal procedure. Said section provides:
Sec. 5. Arrest, without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private
person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
xxx xxx xxx.
Moreover, the rule is that an accused is estopped from assailing the legality
of his arrest if he failed to move to quash the information against him before his
arraignment. Any objection involving the arrest or the procedure in the
acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be
made before he enters his plea, otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. Even
in the instances not allowed by law, a warrantless arrest is not a jurisdictional
defect, and objection thereto is waived where the person arrested submits to
arraignment without objection. The subsequent filing of the charges and the
issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest against a person illegally
detained will cure the defect of that detention.
Next, the appellant claims that the search conducted in his house was unlawful. He
also laments that the NARCOM agents robbed him of his personal properties during the
search and they received money from his relatives after his arrest. This Court need not
tarry on the validity of the said search for the appellant consented to the search. He
admitted that he voluntarily accompanied the policemen to his house. As for the charges
of robbery and extortion, as in the alleged unlawful search made in his house, those
incidents transpired after his arrest. Whether true or not, his liability for the unlawful sale
of shabu remains.
As we have earlier stated, the appellants denial cannot prevail over the positive
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. We are not unaware of the perception that, in
some instances, law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract
information or even to harass civilians. However, like alibi, frame-up is a defense that
has been viewed by the Court with disfavor as it can easily be concocted, hence,
commonly used as a standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising from
violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act. We realize the disastrous consequences on the
enforcement of law and order, not to mention the well-being of society, if the courts,
solely on the basis of the policemen’s alleged rotten reputation, accept in every instance
this form of defense which can be so easily fabricated. It is precisely for this reason that
the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed exists.